British academy


Slaveries Old and New: The Meaning of Freedom

Thursday 27 & Friday 28 March 2014, 9.30am – 5pm
The British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AH

Dr Laura Brace, University of Leicester; Professor Julia O’Connell Davidson, University of Nottingham; Professor Zoe Trodd, University of Nottingham; Dr Mark Johnson, University of Hull

Concerns about human trafficking have sparked renewed awareness of slavery and a revival of the abolitionist movement across the world. Scholars of 'old' slavery can offer insights on the complexities of different forms of slavery as systems of political and economic domination, but these have rarely been brought to bear on the contemporary forms of exploitation, subordination and oppression dubbed ‘modern slavery’. This conference addressed that omission, providing a multidisciplinary overview of slaveries old and new and exploring the contested meanings of freedom and slavery in a variety of contexts including migration, debt, marriage, imprisonment.


Professor Bridget Anderson, University of Oxford
Professor Karen E. Bravo, Indiana University
Professor David Graeber, London School of Economics
Dr Sarah Haley, Gender Studies, University of California, Los Angeles
Mr Nicolas Lainez, National University of Singapore
Professor Tommy Lott, San Jose State University
Dr Sam Okyere, University of Nottingham
Dr Srila Roy, University of Witwatersrand
Dr Nandita Sharma , University of Hawaii
Dr Charlotte Sussman, Duke University
Dr Nathaniel Adam Tobias Coleman, University College London

Please click here for a copy of the current conference programme.

If you have any questions about this event please call the Events Team on 020 7969 5317 or email

Note also the keynote address by Professor Bridget Anderson on Domestic Work, Victims of Trafficking and the Politics of Modern Slavery.